Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Devon Cafe Review: Venus Cafe, Blackpool Sands, Dartmouth

I was a guest at Venus Cafe at Blackpool Sands near Dartmouth.  The location is stunning.  The privately owned beach is immaculate and the rather grey sky revealed some sunshine and blue sky.   The beach has been in the same family for 400 years and is a wonderful place.
The beach is golden, the sea is blue and the red cliffs are covered in trees and vegetation.  It is a great place to walk, laze, do water sports (surfing, sea kayaking, swimming...)
or eat....

The inside of the cafe at Blackpool Sands cafe is relaxed and large and has great views of the beach through the huge windows and doors.  This place is licensed for weddings - that would be incredible.  What a wonderful venue to get married: plenty of parking, space inside and outside, great food, and that view!
The food was plentiful and great tasting.  There was a huge emphasis on locally-caught fish, shellfish plus some delicious Eversfield steak too.  The owner, Michael, really respects the environment and has more than a vested interest in the whole venture - his wife owns the beach.  The magnificent beach.  Dogs are allowed on the beach from 1 November until late March.

The John Dory was served 'en papillote' and was very tasty.  I loved the delicately seasoned crab crostini and the crab bisque for starters.  The sticky toffee pudding was also delicious.
Venus also has takeaways scattered around the South Devon coast: Bigbury-on-Sea, East Portlemouth, Tolcarne and Watergate Bay in Cornwall.  There is also a Venus cafe at Dartington.  They are a 'small, local' chain that I thoroughly recommend.               



Monday, 6 October 2014

Devon Cafe Review: Lloyd's Kitchen Exeter

I met N from Bilby Bites and Bilby Marketing at Lloyd's Kitchen in central Exeter and we had a really good lunch.  And a great blogger meeting really.  She is the person to do your local Exeter marketing and restaurant reviews for sure.

This is the eponymous Lloyd, bending over to chat to a customer.

 There was a real variety of customers.  It was very busy and had that great atmosphere where everyone is enjoying themselves.
 I had the Allotment Breakfast: Halloumi cheese, toast, spinach,saute potatoes and grilled (fresh) plum tomatoes - delicious - for £7.65.
  N had the Halloumi Salad which was gluten free.  There were several items on the menu described as 'GF'.

They do 'All Day Breakfasts' (which looked very popular), daily specials and interesting salads.



This place is buzzing and busy.  They did not want to take reservations - you just have to turn up and hope.  I'm guessing that it's a breakfast / lunch venue.  It is open for evening meals.  Good value and a good place to take a breather in Exeter.  It's located in that rank of shops behind Dingles, the department store, and next to the large open air cafe.